Home Wisdom Articles Pujya Gurudevshri Pujya Gurudevshri Insights The Real Repentance

The Real Repentance

When we begin to dig within, we will first come across the inner darkness. Pujya Gurudevshri compassionately counsels us to neither despair and stop nor defend or overlook. Instead, be brave to accept it and continue digging till we realise the Self

The aim of spirituality is to become fully conscious of one’s true blissful nature. But, this journey from ignorance to enlightenment begins with the realisation that one is unconscious. Accepting one’s ignorance alone can wake him up to enquire into what the purpose of life is. What’s the reason for running around? Where would I end up being if this continues? Is there any real value in what I am doing? With this quest for the truth, commences his inner journey.

He resolves to awaken himself. He repents for the mistakes committed. He realises, ‘Whatever I have done till now was incorrect because I was wrong. Now, I want to transform my very being and not just change my outward behaviour.’ This makes him an aspirant. Without this, one would continue making the same mistakes again and again.

Three ways to see faults Faults can be seen in three different ways –

  1. Seeing faults in others
  2. Seeing faults in one’s actions
  3. Seeing faults in one’s being

Those who see faults only in others do not even regret; they merely criticise. Those who see faults in their actions regret of having done wrong, while those who see faults in themselves take to repentance and atonement. They show the courage to transform, and thus progress on the spiritual path.

Repentance is Not Just Saying Sorry

True repentance for a mistake is not an ordinary occurrence. It is a sadhana. One, who is focussed only on his conduct and not his inclinations, stops at feeling sorry for his slip. But, lamenting keeps him where he is. He moves a step ahead on the spiritual path, gets angry, realises he has erred, and takes a step back. Instead of progressing, he keeps running at the same spot. Mourning for mistakes does not bring transformation; it merely gives consolation. Doing so, you only deceive yourself.

By saying sorry you want to create an image of being an embodiment of forgiveness and modesty. But very soon, your other form emerges when that person does not ask for your forgiveness in return. Moreover, if he says ‘good you realised your mistake’ or ‘go, I forgive you’, it pains you. You even begin to feel hostile, ‘how wicked is this person. I asked for forgiveness but he refuses to say sorry to me.’

Having expressed anger, you experienced remorse. By regretting committing a mistake, you feel satisfied. You feel you are not such a bad person after all. You console yourself by saying that ‘because I am good, I feel sad and ask for forgiveness too.’ With this, your ego becomes stronger.

‘I Am Wrong’

Once while leaving from his club, Mulla Nasiruddin, saw a man in the cloakroom trying to wear a coat. He approached him and said, ‘You are a wrong man.’ The man said, ‘I have not done anything wrong. I was just wearing this coat.’ Mulla said, ‘That’s exactly why I called you so. This coat belongs to me. You are trying to wear my coat.’ The man said, ‘Fool! Why did you not say that I am wearing the wrong coat? Why did you say I am a wrong man?’ Mulla replied, ‘Because only a wrong person can wear someone else’s coat.’

When you do anything wrong, you expect others to say no more than ‘you have made a mistake’. If someone calls you a wrong person, you cannot digest it. The reason is that ‘you have done wrong’ limits your mistake to just that deed, whereas when you are told ‘you are a wrong person’, it reflects on your whole life.

Wrong deed can be improved upon in a moment; saying sorry may end the matter. But upon hearing ‘you are a wrong person’, starts the inner churning. A realisation dawns that ‘there is a lot more of ugliness within than what has manifested outside as a mistake. Therefore, the mistake is not confined to just the deed but is much bigger.’ He who reflects thus can bring about transformation in himself. He knows that it is important to realise that he is a wrong person and all that he does is out of unawareness.

Change Yourself

A lady, extremely hurt by someone’s words, approached me, ‘I am immensely pained and disturbed by that event.’ I told her, ‘I see that you are sad and upset but in this, you have missed one point. Whatever that person may have said, those words came from outside, and the pain you felt was from within you. Do not mix up the two events. If you leave them separate, you will not experience sorrow or disturbance.’

Some say that they remain quiet in such events, the matter worsens only when you speak. But be aware that not speaking alone is not silence. By remaining silent, you are merely not expressing your uneasiness; within, you keep creating negative energy. For whatever reason, you keep your reaction suppressed for some time but within, you keep accumulating negative disposition, which keeps becoming stronger, and one fine day, in a flash of unawareness, it bursts forth. The jolt from it will force you to speak or behave in a way where you will have no control. The saints say that you are silent and peaceful only if the other person’s words or conduct do not create any reaction within. Love alone continues to flow.

Your inner journey cannot start by thinking that others are at fault. You should not be concerned whether the other person is wrong or not. Your good lies in knowing how you are. Only when your attention is focussed within, your spiritual journey will begin. Seeing others’ faults indicates your inner unawareness. Shifting your focus from others to your behaviour shows slow awareness. Real awareness is when your focus shifts to your intentions.

Give Up Unconsciousness

You are so unconscious that you are oblivious of what is happening outside or inside. Who am I? What is my real nature? What am I doing? Why am I doing? You know nothing. Life ebbs away in deep slumber.

Without going to the root of your mistakes, if you keep making superficial changes, you will not be able to avert committing mistakes. To awaken from unconsciousness alone is the first remedy.

Wakefulness Brings the Force

Awareness of the mistake in your beliefs will bring revolutionary changes in your life. If you truly accept your faults, you will not just feel sad and stop at that; you will try your best to remove them.

When your house is on fire you do not sit to think whether you should go out of the burning house or not? You do not worry about not finding anything outside after getting out of the burning house. Once you see the rising flames all around, you spontaneously want to jump out without thinking anything. The more you feel burnt by the fire of repentance, quicker will you want to transform yourself.

The moment you realise that ‘I am a wrong person’ the right efforts begin. ‘In all my actions and feelings, there is dirt, because my demands are wrong. When the roots are poisonous, how can that tree bear sweet fruits? I am like the Neem tree, which has bitterness in its roots, and so every leaf has bitterness alone. Unless I bring a change in the roots, nothing good can happen to me. Therefore, I do not want superficial changes. I want inner transformation. I must give up unconsciousness and wake up. Now I do not want to hide behind atonement, or waste my life oscillating between sinning and atonement. I want to fulfil my life. I don’t want to just do good deeds on one side and be indifferent to the passions. I want to uproot the disease. With this realisation, instead of frustration, depression, helplessness, remorse, etc., your efforts gain profundity, and the goal of liberation will become imminent.

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1 Comment

  1. Austin Newby August 23, 2022 at 11:45 am

    Dear sir, you have shaking me up. You have described my disillusionment with a faith that has brought no lasting change and that I am a wrong person. I'm trying my best to bear fruit but especially to awaken. My sincere thanks.

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#SadguruWhispers Awaken to your true nature. Self realisation is an antidote to all suffering.